I've known for a long time that I am happiest when involved in a story. Whether I've given myself over completely to a play, a movie, a book - as a creator or a witness - my joy and curiosity and wonder are derived from stories.
Even the research aspect of my job is a satisfying process of discovery, like finding a narrative for the world.
Locating the perfect book for a reluctant reader is a singular joy, like finding a chocolate bar stashed in a cupboard long after Halloween has passed.
Students who are bursting to share their writing approach my desk to read aloud from a crumpled piece of paper, following the self-imposed rhythm of their poetry; or they hand me a notebook crammed with pencil-drawn comics or pieces of paper printed off and stapled together. After reciting her poem proudly to me, a grade one student announces: when I grow up, I want to be a librarian at this school and a writer. I see my own passion reflected in her eyes, and in her shy smile. A girl after my own heart - and job!
I have my bad days. I have my weeks of doubt: Can I continue to juggle my two jobs and do both justice? Will I ever leave one or other other behind?
But there are moments that reassure that me I am in the right place doing the right thing for right now.
This joy I feel almost every day is seeping into my environment - My love for reading, writing, fact-finding is evident in the things I do. I may be ridiculous. I may be silly. I might just be the loudest librarian they've ever met. But some days I find it difficult to hold all the joy in my one heart, and it bleeds out into the world to be absorbed by others.
After spending five minutes trying to find the "perfect" book for a young reader, she continues to turn down my suggestions. She is close to tears. Finally, I realize what I'm getting wrong. My next suggestion is a winner. As I check out her book I say, Don't ever be afraid to ask for what you want.
Whether you are asking a librarian, or the Universe, or even yourself.
So here is what I want. I want to find balance and peace and acceptance of my own choices.
I want to continue to find joy in all that I do.